I read Carl Jung’s autobiography ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’ at a critical time in my life. One aspect in particular had struck me and contributed to the unfolding process that lead to my re-experiencing, understanding and, ultimately, healing the events of my childhood.
It was without real surprise therefore, as I sat doodling and colouring in my practise journal one evening last week, a memory floated through my mind and I caught it. I recalled the pivotal scene in Jung’s book when, searching for a deeper understanding of the recesses of the mind, he decided to let go of his sanity and immediately experienced himself as dropping through the floor of his study into the abyss.
Once, long ago, I emulated Jung in that moment of consciously choosing to let go, to drop the drop. In a time of deep despair, when it had been made abundantly clear to me the ultimate in paternal wickedness had taken place and the ultimate in maternal indifference had always existed, I would stop trying to deal with the chaotic aftermath, the soul pain, the anguish. I would simply let go just as Jung had. I would confront my demons, do or die!
In a flash I was falling into profound blackness. Terrified at the speed of the fall I grasped at the sides of the pit, trying to hold onto the last threads of my sanity with my fingernails. But the fall continued, I kept slipping and sliding and tearing my hands as I tumbled down that pit of despair. Again a vision of Jung in his study appeared in my mind and I remembered, I knew, I must let go. I was terrified.
Just. Let. Go.
I let go.
I fell no further, gently my feet touched ground. I was already at the bottom of the pit, perhaps I always had been. And as I stood in that deep, still, silent, blackness from far, far away a light began to glow.
What followed changed my life. Perhaps I should say changed me at a fundamental, primeval level. Changed the way my brain and mind and heart worked. Changed my very being and changed my life and my view of the events of my life.
In almost thirty years that experience has never faded from my memory and my understanding of why we live, why we have this human experience has only deepened with the passing of the years.
I looked again at the page on which I was doodling and colouring and wrote ‘Memories, Dreams & Reflections’, closed the book and went to bed.
Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did.